Sunday, November 19, 2006

Budapest? Igen?

I had such a good time hanging out with Su in Vesprem. We could be watching a movie, riding bikes, dancing drunkingly at a club or just sitting around talking about nothing and it was cool. As friends, we clicked really well and look forward to hanging out again next week when she comes to Budapest. Congrats on the job.

Back in Budapest.. I decided it would be easier to jump (literally), a train and go back to Budapest than ride to Szombathely, where I was having trouble sorting out accommodation. In true me style, I got to the train station at Vesprem with about 8 minutes to spare. I went into the ticket office, and managed to land one of the cheaper variety of tickets for myself and the bike. However, while the ticket vendor was printing out the tickets, the machine jammed and she had to shut down her terminal and go to the next window to get the other part of my ticket printed. This made my time a little tighter and I headed out to the platform with 3 minutes to spare. On the advice of a station guard, I went to cross the tracks at the engineer / wheelchair access path, but the guard on the opposite platform made angry gestures at me and turned me back, pointing to the stairs of the underpass. I pointed at my bike and triler, but he just gave me "that's your problem" look. The first guard just shrugged his shoulders in a way that said "sorry.. the other guy said so", and watched as I, with no other option, hurled myself, the bike and the trailer down the stairs, then drag it up the stairs on the other side. Great. Now to actually get on the train. As I approached the rear of the train, the dude with the little sign used to signal the all clear looked like he was about to do his thing. With some restrained frantic waving I got his attention, pointed at the train and asked "Budapest?". He took a look at me and my kit, sighed and yelled some Hungarian to the conductor further up the platform. I quickly dismantled the trailer and got all my stuff on the train in about 10-15 seconds. Before I had even closed the door, the dude gave the all clear and the train began to move. Budapest, here I come.

I've been here for a couple of days now, staying with Andy and Laurie, the Americans I stayed with last 3 weeks ago. It's a bit different as this time Andy's mum (mom) is visiting, so they've been taking day trips out the outlying sights of the city while I've been riding doing my own thing. We went to the touristy strip of restaurants the other night and ate a pizza without a base, then to Kuplung for a beer and watched a couple of movies (including Death Race 2000, the best stupidest movie I've seen in ages.) It's weird practicing my English again, picking up a little bit of an American accent on the reentry to my mother tongue. There's a little culture shock coming back to the big smoke. Not that the towns I've been in were particularly small, but Budapest is quite big and city-like in comparison. Plus the little villages and country back roads had no real traffic on them, and my arrival during peak hour Budapest traffic was a little hairy at times.

One person on my list to catch up and have a coffee with was Vera, the Hungarian I stayed with while I was here last time. We had got on really well and our late night Hungarian cooking adventures and crack of noon coffee chats were somewhat of a highlight of my time in Budapest. Today around noon, I went over to her flat and I met up with her for another Hungarian cooking lesson. Deep fried battered apples. While we prepared the apples and mixed the batter, we talked about our respective squirrels, what has been happening at Vera's cinema job and my adventures around Lake Balaton. I started talking about the places I had stayed in and Balatonboglar came up. Vera mentioned that she had worked for her uncle at his hotel over the summers of 1997-2000. I asked "what's his name?" Vera said "Imre", and the weirdness began again. It turns out that Imre (the guy I stayed with while in Boglar), is the paternal uncle of Vera, and she had worked for him during the summer when she was a teenager. I mentioned Agi's cooking, and Vera agreed that it was above excellent Hungarian cuisine. As Vera is a member of Hospitalityclub, she was totally unaware that her uncle had signed on for couchsurfing. It is a small world after all.

I've seen my second set of ferret walkers and have explored some of the southern part of Buda, which I missed last time. A visit to the old school Turkish baths are on the cards, plus some more Hungarian style cooking thanks to Vera.

1 comment:

Eleanora Martinez said...

Sounds sooo fantastic as ever!
Good to hear you're also able to be catching up with your newly found friends as you retrace your steps about the place.
Sounds like you've been "AdelaideD" too or maybe you'd have to change that to "HungrieD".